"Any man who truly loves you will wait for you." This was what my mum told me. We had heard that so many times and no one was listening (being in the new millennium and all, Woohoo Y2K! Ultra-throwback). It was year 2000 and all everyone wanted to do was have sex before the world ended.
Me, I was a mama's girl (rarer than the famed "mama's boy" ), I actually listen to my mother (sometimes). Of course, I pretend like I don't and give her a good argument, but I do listen. Anyway she had given me this bit of perspective when I was about to start dating. This consequently meant I didn't have to have sex if I didn't want to. It meant, I control the sexing in every relationship (not the guy) and if I didn't want to, no guy was going to pressure me and sulk his way into my awesomely lacy underwear. This was great! This truly was the key to dating, I could date as many men as possible and not be called a slut. I would find my ideal emotionally mature man, intellectually stimulating, crazy fun, people/ family lover, a bit of a foodie and adventurous. And *drumroll* I didn't have to invest any sex! It was genius (partly because I was icky about getting all body “fluid-y” with several men. One, was really all I needed).
This is not an instructional letter. Today, I’ll just tell you how it is and what I did. It’s completely up to you to decide.
First thing to know, Charly, is this: SEX is an INVESTMENT.
An act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result:(Oxford dictionary)
Sex requires devotion of time, effort and energy (if you are doing it right anyway); Shave, wax, lingerie (dolly, kinky, lacey, silky), kegels, sext, contraception (patch, pill, sponge, needle), condom (ribbed, not ribbed, latex, non- latex), Lube , imagination, spontaneity (car, shower, alley, basement), mental-winding on days you really don't want to. All these, with the expectation that he will find me awesomely wonderful and eternally indispensable, that he would be unable to imagine his existence without me and pop the question one day! This was the "worthwhile" result.
What were the odds that this would occur? How many guys would I have to have sex with before I finally got one who would pop the question? Would sex guarantee me a proposal or at least something steady? I really had no idea and I am not one to take random risks. This is where forty hours of my risk analysis and management class kicks in. I wasn't ready to invest sex into any relationship that wouldn't yield superb, tangible and sustainable results. True, I had needs. You probably do too (as much as I’d like to believe you don’t, being my little Great grand daughter and all). This wasn't about needs. It was about whether at 35 years old, I’d still be creeping out of a random guy’s room at 4 AM doing the walk of shame, or even worse I’d wake up in mine and he’s gone.
I decided. No sex. True, we’d make out. Up-against-the-wall-furniture-shifting make-outs (I didn't tell you this). However, no sex. If he did love me, he’d have to wait in line while I analyzed the relationship and its potential for growth. So with my perfect man criteria in place (mentioned above), I created a timeline:
Month 1: Meet boy (no sex)
Month 2-5: Get to know boy (no sex) aka probation period
This was the most intense time; the probation period. The main activity was research; his family, his Exes. Does boy have a drinking problem, cheating history, anger issues? Does boy need sex for this relationship? Is boy willing to wait till we are married? If he is, well, good for him, he could channel his sexual energy into hunting or some other activity. This was usually always the most sexually tense period. It wasn’t easy but you know what else isn’t easy? Getting over a breakup with a guy you were sleeping with. I had to be focused.
Month 6: Dating (No sex)
Probation extension. I have standards. Do not fall short, boy.
Month 7/8: (No sex)
At this point, the relationship is probably strained from too many fights and no sex. Muhahaha. Boy begins to come undone. Boy and I. On the brink of bliss or disaster.
Month 9: (No sex)
Tsktsk. Boy has cheated. Boy is acting up. Flirting with anyone and everyone. Boy thinks I'm oblivious.
Month 10: Goodbye, boy. On to the next.
Ten months. Difficult but effective. Heads up, just in case you try to do this, this won’t work if you are idle. Be busy at school, work, community projects, church. Do not trust will-power. My will has its strengths but resisting physical intimacy isn't one of them. I had to aid my will by selecting men appropriately and by self-branding (Dating and Business school really are connected!). He had to understand what I was about and know for certain that the sex thing was not off and on the table. It was off, far off.
I'm no super- woman here, I invented it because it makes sense and I had to protect myself……. from myself. I am my own greatest specialist in joy- sabotage.
Another reason I listened to mama was the fear of ending up with the wrong man, who I couldn't let go of because I felt attached to him. That would be selling myself short! I had seen it too many times. My train of thought usually was: If I meet him, have sex with him, then discover he's no good but I can't leave him because sex and its hormones make me feel bonded to him, tied to him, then I’d be in a pickle. An avoidable pickle (those are the worst pickles). Oxytocin, vasopressin and endorphins; the hormones of deception. They collectively make you feel attached to the guy, like there’s something monogamous about what you just did, helps you feel secure, soothes you and binds you. I guess in retrospect, the only reason older people tell you not to have sex is because of the effect of those darn hormones and the false sense of security they bring.
So Charly, if you have never had sex before and you plan to wait till you are married, make sure you have a good reason for doing so (told you all of mine). If you started already, humour me and try the ten month trial period on a guy. Let’s see if he makes it to month five.
This post was previously published on our old space, feistyphi